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Old May 22, 2006, 1:38 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I use a point and shoot camera for shooting clothing and other product photography, but feel the photos are lacking a little contrast. We have Photoshop CS in our home, but I only know how to use it for cropping and resizing. I'd like to learn to use Photoshop CS to add punch to my photos. Where can I find good online easy step by step tutorials for beginners, specifically on levels, curves, brightness/contrast? Thanks in advance for your help!

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Old Jun 2, 2006, 2:02 PM   #2
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hi Greenp just do a google search, type in photoshop tutorials.

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Old Jun 3, 2006, 1:32 AM   #3
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I would avoid curves until you are more familiar. Levels is the basic adjustment for contrast and brightness. Do NOT use the Photoshop Brightness/Contrast controls. If you look in Photoshop help it will tell you it is not intended for advanced image editing. You might not consider yourself advanced, but by simply asking for tutorials you are already far too advanced to use the Brightness/Contrast. It simple moves the white and black points the same amount from both ends and you seldom want to do that.

This is a good primer for Levels: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/levels.htm

I would suggest you try Auto Levels first. If you don't like the result you can always just go back a level in your history and adjust the levels manually. Auto Levels is fairly sophisticated in that it adjusts separately in the color and luminosity channels. I often have a hard time doing better in levels or curves. Sometimes you won't like the result, but I always check to see what it wants to do first.

You will find that with a point and shoot camera you will usually improve your results with a step many people refer to as "defogging". Go Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Set your amount to around 16 and your radius to around 150. Leave the threshold at zero. This is not a true sharpening step. For that you would want to start with an amount around 40 and a radius around 3. True sharpening should be done last.

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